Ethical hackers “hit the jackpot” while tech groups pay for protection


At the end of 2019, Dawn Isabel was looking for glitches and vulnerabilities in a specific mobile application. She participated in the app maker’s “bug bounty” program – the development phase in which a company hires hackers to find vulnerabilities in its systems.

“It looks exciting on TV, with lots of bright green text and six screens,” Isabel says of the way this work is sometimes presented. “In reality, it’s me who sat in front of my laptop and scrolled for hours.”

But eventually, Isabel — who also works full-time as research director at mobile security company NowSecure — “hit the jackpot.” She discovered a devastating vulnerability in the app and soon received a tidy five-figure sum as a reward.

Dawn Isabel, director of research at mobile security company NowSecure

It is this work of so-called ethical hackers that helps protect the companies – from big tech giants like Google, Microsoft and…

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